101 East

Finding Love In Japan

Romance is proving problematic for Japanese youth. Can state-sanctioned matchmaking provide the perfect love potion?

The path to true love is never easy but in Japan, finding “the one” has never been harder. Only a third of the nation’s youth have been in a relationship.

Many consider a romantic partner bothersome in a country famous for maid cafes, herbivore men and pop idol shows. For the government, playing Cupid is now in the national interest. As the country’s population rapidly declines, it’s funding matchmaking events to help encourage marriage – and babies.  

Such events are also being embraced by reality shows, small towns and even monks who need a partner for their temple to survive. 101 East asks: can love find a way in desperate and dateless Japan? 

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